Fourth Estate wins 'heartbreaking' Matthew Thomas

Début novel We Are Not Ourselves by US author Matthew Thomas has been sold to Fourth Estate for a six-figure sum after a seven-way auction. It follows a seven-figure deal for North American rights late last week.  

Editorial director Clare Reihill bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) in the title from co-agent Elizabeth Sheinkman at WME London, with the auction going to best bids on Monday (15th April), the opening day of LBF.

Last Thursday, Simon & Schuster US bought North American rights for a seven-figure sum following a two-day auction conducted by the author’s agent, WME New York agent Bill Clegg.

The title is described as a “heartbreaking debut”, and follows Eileen, raised in Queens in the 1940s by an alcoholic mother and a union-wage father, as she falls in love with a young scientist and starts a family with him. However, as he develops early-onset Alzheimer’s she and her son are left to “grapple with a husband and a father who is, beyond their control, fading away”.

WME has received five offers for German rights in the title, as well as offers in from publishers in Italy, Holland and France, with Sheinkman saying she anticipates further deals to be concluded over the course of the week.

Read the LBF Bookseller Daily: Day 2